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Can Kids Get The Flu Shot

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Benefits Of The Flu Shot

Frederick County Kids Can Get Their Flu Shot At These 2 Clinics

Overall, flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with the flu and can reduce the severity of its symptoms if you do get sick. This means less missed school for kids, less missed work for parents and fewer doctors visits for both, says Dr. Johnson. Vaccination also protects people around you, especially those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, including babies and young children.

In children, flu vaccination can be lifesaving. A 2017 CDC study showed that the flu shot significantly reduces a childs risk of dying from the flua reduced risk of 51% among children with high-risk, underlying medical conditions and a reduced risk of 65% among healthy childrenCDC Study Finds Flu Vaccine Saves Lives. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed 10/05/2021. . Other research shows that during the flu seasons from 2004 to 2020, flu-related deaths in children ranged from 37 to 199 deathsand about 80% of those children were not fully vaccinatedFlu & Young Children. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed 10/05/2021. .

Getting the flu shot also reduces the risk of hospitalization from the flu. A 2014 study showed that the vaccine was 74% effective in preventing a child from being sent to a pediatric intensive care unit Ferdinands JM, Olsho LEW, Agan AA, et al. Effectiveness of Influenza Vaccine Against Life-threatening RT-PCR-confirmed Influenza Illness in US Children, 20102012. The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2014 210:674-683. .

Getting An Annual Flu Shot

Getting a flu shot each year helps you avoid contracting influenza. In addition to protecting yourself and your family, getting vaccinated protects the people you come into contact with daily.

Everyone is susceptible to the flu, and because strains of the virus evolve, last years vaccine wont protect you against this years flu virus. Children under 5 are especially at high risk of developing serious complications of the flu, which is more dangerous for children than the common cold.

Only babies younger than 6 months and people with life-threatening allergies to the flu vaccine or any ingredients in the vaccine shouldnt get the flu shot. Everyone else should be vaccinated.

Things You Need To Know About Kids And The Flu Shot

During last years flu season, more than 60% of children were vaccinated. That may sound high, but experts say everyone 6 months old and older without contraindications should get a yearly flu shot.

Why are influenza vaccination rates in children still below recommended levels? One reason, says Melissa Stockwell, MD, MPH, a pediatrician and vaccine behavior researcher at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, is logistics. Bringing a child into the doctors office just to get a flu shot is a barrier for many patients, she says. Even people who intend to get their child vaccinated may put it off, thinking they will do it another day.

Layered on top are misperceptions about influenza and the vaccine, which contribute to the lower vaccination rates weve seen for flu versus other childhood diseases, combined with general fears about vaccine safety.”

Heres what Stockwell tells familiesand other physiciansto encourage more families to get their children vaccinated against the flu.

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Why Should I Get The Flu Vaccine

Nationally, influenza vaccination prevented an estimated 7.52 million illnesses, 3.69 million medical visits, 105,000 hospitalizations, and 6,300 deaths due to influenza during the 2019-2020 season. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through the community.

It is especially important to get the flu vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Flu vaccination reduces the prevalence and severity of illness caused by flu, reducing symptoms that might be confused with those of COVID-19
  • It will reduce the overall burden of respiratory illness that will protect people at higher risk for severe illness of both flu and COVID-19
  • The reduction of outpatient illnesses, hospitalizations, and intensive care unit admissions from flu vaccination will alleviate stress on the health care system

For additional information, please see the CDC page: This Season a Flu Vaccine is More Important than Ever!

Do Flu Shots For Babies And Toddlers Contain Mercury

[Withdrawn] Child flu vaccine pilot has positive impact ...

Ask for a shot from a single-dose, mercury-free vial. Multi-dose vials contain a mercury-based preservative to kill bacteria introduced by repeated needle penetrations into the vial. With a single dose vial, mercury isnt necessary.

Pregnant women should also receive the flu shot . The shot does not contain live viruses, so its safe for the fetus inside.

It can be hard watching your little one get pricked by a needle. Once your child is over 2 years old, you can choose to give the vaccine as an injection or as a nasal spray.

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Can The Vaccines Cause The Flu

If youre concerned your kids could get the flu from a vaccine, you arent alone. Fortunately, the vaccines dont cause the flu.

The viruses used in the shot are killed , meaning there is no whole virus in the vaccine. The nasal spray vaccine does contain live flu strains, but they are too weak to cause the flu.

Learn more about childhood vaccination myths debunked.

What Are The Possible Side Effects Of The Flu Vaccine

Both types of vaccine can cause mild side effects.

  • The flu shot usually is given as an injection in the upper arm or thigh . It contains killed flu virus and can’t cause someone to get the flu. But it can cause soreness, redness, or swelling at the injection site. Rarely, it might cause a low fever or body aches.
  • The nasal spray flu vaccine contains weakened live flu viruses. So it may cause mild symptoms, such as a runny nose, wheezing, sore throat, vomiting, or tiredness. Like the shot, it can sometimes cause a low fever or body aches.

Sometimes, people faint after getting a shot, especially teens. It helps to sit or lie down for 15 minutes right after a shot to prevent this.

If your child has any side effects, talk to your doctor about giving either acetaminophen or ibuprofen and to find out the right dose.

A warm, damp cloth or a heating pad on the injection site may help ease soreness, as can moving or using the arm.

Very rarely, the flu vaccine can cause a serious allergic reaction.

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Flu Is Dangerous For Children

Flu illness is more dangerous than the common cold for children. Each year, millions of children get sick with seasonal flu thousands of children are hospitalized, and some children die from flu. Children commonly need medical care because of flu, especially children younger than 5 years old.

  • Complications from flu among children in this age group can include:
  • Pneumonia: an illness where the lungs get infected and inflamed
  • Dehydration: when a childs body loses too much water and salts, often because fluid losses are greater than from fluid intake)
  • Worsening of long-term medical problems like heart disease or asthma
  • Brain dysfunction such as encephalopathy
  • Sinus problems and ear infections
  • In rare cases, flu complications can lead to death.
  • Flu seasons vary in severity, however every year children are at risk
  • CDC estimates that from the 2010-2011 season to the 2019-2020 season, flu-related hospitalizations among children younger than 5 years old have ranged from 7,000 to 26,000 in the United States.
  • Safe And Effective Vaccination Against The Flu

    Adults and children can get flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine

    Flu shots are a type of vaccine or immunization. Vaccines allow your body to develop immunity to specific diseases, without needing to become ill or infected.

    Once youre vaccinated, youre protected against the condition targeted by that vaccine. And, vaccines protect entire communities, not just individuals, slowing or preventing the spread of infectious diseases between people.

    Unlike the many pediatric vaccines given in early childhood, flu shots have to be updated each year. The vaccine is reformulated each year, as new variants of influenza mutate and circulate. Vaccine manufacturers use current studies and information to determine which variants are likely to become dominant in a given flu season.

    Vaccines, including the flu shot, are safe to take. Flu shots are as effective as possible each year, and significantly reduce your risk of getting or spreading the flu.

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    Q: Why Is It Important For All Children Aged 6 Months And Up To Get Vaccinated

    A: Children, particularly those under age 5, are subject to potentially very severe complications from influenza disease some of those children are hospitalized. Within that group, children under 2 are especially prone to complications. For everyone aged 6 months and up, the annual flu vaccine is the best way that we have available to protect against complications.

    The Flu Shot Is Your Best Defence

    This years flu season is taking place at the same time as COVID-19. Dont take any unnecessary risks with your health. Get the flu shot as early in the season as possible.

    The flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months old and older. It is:

    • safe
    • free
    • available from your doctor or nurse practitioner, and at participating pharmacies and local public health units across the province
    • proven to reduce the number of doctor visits, hospitalizations and deaths related to the flu
    • different each year because the virus changes frequently so you need to get it every fall

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    Does My Child Need More Than One Flu Shot

    It depends. Children typically receive their first flu shot starting when they are 6 months old, at which point they are given another shot about four weeks later. Thats because the immune systems of young children under the age of 9 dont have as strong a response to the vaccine as older children and adults do, Dr. Muñoz said. Peak immunity will develop about two weeks after the second shot.

    Children who are younger than 9 and have never before received the vaccine will also need two flu shots this year, spread out about four weeks apart. Likewise, children under 9 who have received just one flu shot in the past and then never received another flu shot at any other point in time should also get two shots this year.

    Children 9 and older only require one flu shot, and it will take at least two weeks for those children to be fully protected after the shot is administered.

    If youre unsure, ask your childs doctor for guidance.

    Whats In The Childrens Flu Vaccine

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    The childrens flu vaccine contains a small amount of weakened flu virus, and like the injected types is changed each year to offer the best protection against strains of flu that are widespread that season.

    The nasal spray also contains a small amount of pork gelatine, which means it may not be suitable for all children. For Muslim and Jewish parents, its worth noting that leading figures within these communities have approved the nasal spray vaccine for use.

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    When Should Your Child Get Their Flu Shot

    There are two ways to receive the flu vaccine, and both are highly effective.

    The flu vaccine administered by needle, typically injected into your arm, is a solution of non-viable virus particles that help the immune system recognize and kill the flu virus quickly, allowing for mild symptoms if any at all. Non-viable virus particles means you cannot get the flu from the shot and are not contagious to other people, says Dr. Johnson. There are different flu vaccines administered by needle that are approved for different age groups.

    The nasal spray flu vaccine protects against four different strains of flu virus and is intended for children and adults ages two through 49.

    The nasal spray is a live-attenuated virus, or a weakened live virus that cannot cause infection in someone with a normal immune system, says Dr. Johnson. In people with a weak immune system, the live-attenuated virus in the spray could actually cause a flu infection, so be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about whether this route is the best way to go for you and your childs needs.

    The nasal spray vaccine is a great option for those who may be needle-phobic or for parents who dont want to give their little one another jab, says Dr. Kimbrough.

    What Else Can Children Do In Addition To Getting The Flu Vaccine

    Other steps you can take to help prevent respiratory viruses, like the flu, include: staying away from people who are sick washing your hands frequently avoiding touching your eyes and mouth, because that is one of the ways that germs are spread continuing to wear masks in public places and social distancing whenever possible.

    Very little flu is currently being reported in the Southern hemisphere, Dr. Muñoz said. Probably because people are wearing masks and washing their hands.

    Finally, be sure to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, like doorknobs and light switches. And the C.D.C. says that developing good habits can also help your body stay healthy: Get enough sleep, exercise, drink plenty of water and eat a nutritious, balanced diet.

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    Does The Flu Shot Work

    Flu viruses shift and change, which means getting the vaccine right each year requires a lot of science, and a bit of luck. The World Health Organization keeps tabs on the flu virus strains circulating worldwide. This information is used to make vaccines that protect against either the three strains or the four strains predicted to be most common during the upcoming season.

    Somewhere in the middle of the flu season, we begin to get an estimate of success, but it depends on when the flu season starts, says Tam. Sometimes one strain begins and another one comes at the end. Different regions of Canada can also have different strains circulating.

    In Canada, the Canadian Sentinel Practitioner Surveillance Network found the 2017-2018 flu shot was 38 percent effective in preventing the flu, while the 2018-2019 flu shot was 56 percent effective.

    Should Pregnant Women Get The Flu Shot

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    Yes, pregnant women should get the flu shot. Studies havent shown any safety concerns for pregnant women who get the vaccine. However, getting influenza while pregnant, especially in the third trimester, can have serious complications for both mom and baby. The flu shot also helps stop new moms from passing the virus to the newborn.

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    Is The Flu Shot Safe

    Thanks to decades of studies, there is plenty of safety data to back up the flu shot. The CDC, Food and Drug Administration and several other healthcare organizations continually monitor the safety of flu vaccines by tracking vaccine-related side effects and other data.

    Tell your healthcare provider beforehand if your child is allergic to eggs or has had allergic reactions to the flu shot before. A licensed flu vaccine may still be appropriate for your child, but there are likely egg-free flu vaccine options available.

    You should also notify your healthcare provider if your child has a weakened immune system or Guillain-Barre Syndrome . Additionally, if your child is receiving the nasal spray vaccine, tell their doctor if they are receiving aspirin or aspirin-containing therapy.

    How Many Flu Shot Doses Does My Child Need

    • Children 6 months to 8 years old who are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time or who have received only one dose before July 1, 2020, should receive two doses of influenza vaccine. The second dose should be given at least four weeks after the initial dose.
    • All children 9 and up or younger children who have received at least two doses prior to July 1, 2020, need only one dose of influenza vaccine for this flu season.

    Justin M. Morgan, M.D., FAAP, is a pediatrician with Norton Childrens Medical Group Brownsboro.

    Photo credit: Heather Hazzan, SELF Magazine

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    When Should People Get The Flu Vaccine

    Flu season runs from October to May. It’s best to get a flu vaccine as early in the season as possible, ideally by the end of October. This gives the body a chance to make antibodies that protect from the flu. But getting a flu vaccine later in the season is better than not getting it at all. Getting a missed flu vaccine late in the season is especially important for people who travel. That’s because the flu can be active around the globe from April to September.

    Flu Vaccines Are Very Safe

    Is Your Child Afraid to Get a Flu Shot?

    Flu vaccines have a good safety record. Hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received flu vaccines for more than 50 years, and there has been extensive research supporting the safety of flu vaccines.

    Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. When they occur, flu vaccine side effects are generally mild and go away on their own within a few days.

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    Can My Child Get The Flu Vaccine At The Same Time As Another Childhood Vaccine Including The Covid

    Yes. It is safe to get the seasonal flu vaccine at the same time as any childhood vaccine, including the COVID-19 vaccine. Many children are behind with their childhood vaccines or boosters because of the COVID-19 pandemic and getting the vaccines at the same time can help them catch up more quickly.

    For children 5 to 11 years old, it may be best to wait at least 14 days between the COVID-19 and other vaccines. The reason for this is that if any side effects happen, doctors will know which vaccine they are related to. But only space out vaccines if you are sure that no other vaccines your child needs will be given late.

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